Portrait of Hovig Tchalian
  • Email
  • Degrees
    PhD, UCLA
  • Research Interests
    Organization theory, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Market Emergence, Discourse and Text Analysis, Computational Methods

Hovig Tchalian studies the impact of language and communication processes on organizations and markets. His research focuses especially on framing and sense-making processes as well as language devices such as analogies. When online retailer Amazon was launched in 1994, for example, very few people shopped on the Internet. So Amazon and other retailers compared online shopping to the in-store experience—slowly making people feel comfortable with the idea of browsing, gathering items in a shopping cart, and checking out.

Tchalian’s research helps explain how the “social conversation” around innovations like online shopping helps them get accepted. He applies what is known as a mixed-methods approach (which combines qualitative and quantitative analysis) to examine such sources of social discussions as newspaper articles, technical publications, and social media outlets, using both traditional and newly developed “big data” techniques.

He teaches courses in innovation and entrepreneurship. The courses focus on the startup lifecycle, from identifying and assessing opportunities through prototyping and market testing to funding and launch. He also heads the Claremont Game Lab, which brings together teams of professors, industry experts, and select graduate and undergraduate students to build, launch and market online games as well as apply game-based technologies to generate market and social innovations.

He has taught at both USC and UCLA. He most recently designed and taught graduate and undergraduate courses at the USC Marshall School of Business and Viterbi School of Engineering. He has won awards at USC for innovative course design and technology use and received CGU grants for research projects studying the values that underlie corporate governance discourse and the strategic opportunities made available by the emergence of the Electric Vehicle category.

Tchalian has consulted with Fortune 1000 firms while at the strategy-consulting firm Monitor Group and worked extensively there and elsewhere with firms and executives in a direct capacity. He is a member of Duke Corporate Education’s GLRN (Global Learning Resource Network), has led courses at the Business Literacy Institute, and also teaches with the Museum Leadership Institute and Drucker Executive Education.


Innovation & Entrepreneurship Practicum
Business and Revenue Models (co-taught)
Data Analytical Tools, Technologies & Applications Across the Disciplines
New Venture Creation
Startup Studio